• On track and ahead of the pack

An Impulse Built On An Inspiration

October 4th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

You may remember the British car brand Austin. Up in smoke along with most of the rest of the British motor industry due to doing just about everything wrong that was humanly possible to do wrong. “Orstin of England” latterly produced dull but honest family transport, and the popular image of an Austin owner would [...]

  • The writer’s first visit was 1960 where John Mansel won an exciting race, showing skill and courage to win in the Maserati 250F. His distinctive ‘leaning’ driving style is evident (Photo Euan Sarginson/Terry Marshall Archives)

Classic Motorsport – Those Waimate Meetings

July 8th, 2019|Tags: , , |

There’s a special place in the hearts of all those who witnessed any of the Waimate 50 race meetings, from the first one on January 31, 1959, to the final on February 5, 1966. In many ways the Waimate 50 was a special event, and the first Waimate meeting was also a milestone in the [...]

  • Doug Algie’s Tucker V8 in its workshop – the street outside his parent’s house – with a crowd of young admirers and future Formula One fans

The Man Who Sat in Nuvolari’s Seat

May 8th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The first time I saw Doug Algie he was sitting behind the huge steering wheel of a car that once had been driven by the great Tazio Nuvolari. It was February 1966 at a low-key club race meeting on a tidal area near the township of Karitane, north of Dunedin. Doug was driving an enormous [...]

  • David Simpson today

The Summer of ’66

February 24th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

In the sixties, the annual trek to Blenheim for the season-opening motor race meeting was always an adventure. The circuit was around the streets of the nearby township of Renwick – and it was always a matter of argument whether the ‘w’ was silent. There were three Renwick (or was it Rennick?) circuits, the first [...]

  • Dick Bennetts has helped 14 drivers into Formula One — among them the great Ayrton Senna

The Perfection of West Surrey Racing

December 11th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

I was stumbling around in the ruins of a castle deep in the Pennines in northern England when my reveries of knights in armour were interrupted by the sound of a dog barking. So few people ring me these days that it took a moment or two for me to realise it was my ringtone [...]

  • Louvres and spokes – the exquisite style of Ettore Bugatti

French Blue

October 25th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

After the brief mention of Thomas Pitt Cholmondeley-Tapper in the last issue of NZ Classic Driver I was astounded to receive a message from Andy Datlen at Auto Restorations in Christchurch: “We have the Bugatti here, do you want to have a look at it?” So, on a late September Saturday morning, I squeezed into [...]

  • His skills as a driver trainer are almost black magic. Today he’s given up racing, but continues to train the world’s top drivers – and play music!

The Huapai Kid – Classic Racer

September 10th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

The international motor racing world knows him as ‘Rob Wilson’, but to me he is Robert Wilson – and always will be. I make no apologies for referring to him as Robert in this story. He left New Zealand for the UK in 1972 at the age of 20, having owned just one car (an [...]

  • Haig wrestles the ex-Dawson Camaro around the old hairpin at Ruapuna. It was a big, heavy, difficult car that was hard on brakes and not particularly powerful (Photo Terry Marshall)

Classic Racer – Journeys with Johnny Cash – Part Two

June 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

After making his racing debut in his road-going Zephyr-Corvette and blowing up the gearbox, Kevin decided any future racing would be in a dedicated competition car. But racing was about to take a back seat. The wide world intervened. “I joined the Dunedin exodus to Wanaka that Christmas and New Year’s Eve,” says Kevin. “Over [...]

  • At the Levin International the week after Baypark, Haig and Riley had two comings together. The front of the Mustang is worse for going under a wire hawser barrier. That’s Trevor Crowe behind in the Starlet V8 (Photo Terry Marshall)

Travels With Johnny Cash

April 24th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

It was Kevin’s second season with the Mustang, a 1968 car built by Shelby for TransAm but never raced until it was bought by Kiwi Bob Kennett, who ran it in the USA before it was bought by Dexter Dunlop. Dunlop spent an unhappy season with the car before Kevin Haig arrived on the scene [...]

Marbles: A Heart-To-Heart with Dennis Marwood

February 21st, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

The terms, ‘eternal youth’ and ‘open book’ might well have been conjured up for Dennis Marwood. Now well into his eighties, Dennis Jack Marwood retains an almost boyish enthusiasm for motor racing and his memory is as sharp as the proverbial tack, able to haul career facts from the back of his memory with the [...]